Abandoned Edmonton building will become Canada’s largest indoor paintball facility
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A dollhouse, nature murals and a really old computer are a few of the things two entrepreneurs have found while transforming an 85,000 square foot abandoned office building in downtown Edmonton into Canada’s largest indoor paintball facility.
After six months of searching for a space for their business that met zoning guidelines and was both spacious and within their budget, Rob Davy and Brittany Anderson finally found what they were looking for.
“It’s been really disheartening because we’ve had everything in place except the place to do it,” Davy said.
The pair looked at dozens of spaces, and two weeks ago they signed a lease on a decades-old building located on 107A Avenue and 100 Street that has housed the Edmonton Public School Board, Alcoholics Anonymous and the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.
Now they’re busy tearing down walls in the three-and-a-half-storey concrete box, and removing a host of objects left by previous tenants including couches, desks, trophies and a dream catcher.
“It’s very nice to be able to do what we’re doing, which is taking this abandoned space and turning it into something,” Davy said.
The couple have enlisted an architect and day labourers to convert what was once a maze of offices into paintball playing fields that will include small cars, houses and a mock oil well site with a derrick and fuel tanks.
The entrepreneurs leased the building as is and every time they walk through it they discover new rooms and history, including a vault that’s bigger than a bedroom and a speaker’s podium stuck in the middle of a board room.
“This place is huge,” said Anderson, as she stepped over drywall and tools, with a flashlight in hand on a recent walkthrough.
Anderson, who has never played paintball before, brings marketing experience to the venture, while Davy has been involved with numerous businesses including Nexopia and an outdoor paintball facility by Ardrossan.
Both quit their full-time jobs after signing the lease, and are hoping to have the Edmonton Paintball Centre open later this summer.
Square-footage wise, the completed space will be Canada’s largest indoor paintball facility, something Davy said has been a pleasant accident after months of searching for a space.
“We never set out to be the biggest but there’s no reason not to be. That’s been something that’s really exciting,” he said.